Meltdowns compared: Financial v Climate Crises

Some highlights from a thought-provoking exchange with my colleague Sarah Best, who works on private sector and climate change issues. Similar causes · The roots of the financial crisis lie in a failure to properly assess risk (e.g. of sub-prime loans), an absence of proper oversight and regulation (e.g. of complex financial instruments) and consumption beyond…

By admin December 7, 2008 Off

Killer facts: a user's guide

‘Killer Facts’, are those punchy, memorable, headline-grabbing statistics that are picked up by the media and politicians and have immediate impact. In influencing terms, the right killer fact can be more effective than dozens of well-researched reports.

By admin December 7, 2008 Off

It's G8 time again

In Hokkaido, Japan, this week, staff from across Oxfam International will be lobbying governments, talking to the press, and periodically donning the ‘big heads’ – giant replicas of the G8 leaders, which we lug around from conference to conference. Dreaming up stunts for the big heads is one of the more fun bits of summitry,…

By admin December 7, 2008 Off

The changing understanding of poverty; the latest on growth diagnostics – 2 new papers to read while you’re awaiting the US election result……

I was saddened to see that the wonderfully named Post Autistic Economics Review has presumably succumbed to political correctness in renaming itself the Real-World Economics Review, but the quality is still great and email subscription is still free. The latest issue has a very handy guide by Paul Shaffer of the University of Toronto to…

By admin December 4, 2008 Off

The Food Price Crisis and Trade

Last week I shared a panel on the food price crisis with Alex Evans, a thinktanker who runs the excellent ‘global dashboard’ blog. See here for his excellent post on Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel on the economic crisis as a driver of change. Alex, who has written some excellent stuff on food prices…

By admin December 3, 2008 Off

Two great new books on Africa

Just got back from launching the book in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia (more of that later). Between powerpoints, I read two great but contrasting new books on the region, both by ‘muzungus’, as whites are known in East Africa.

By admin December 2, 2008 Off

What needs to happen in the climate change talks in Poznan?

Two new Oxfam papers set the scene for the climate change talks getting under way in Poznan this week. ‘Climate, Poverty and Justice’gives an overview, while ‘Turning Carbon into Gold’ crunches some numbers on how to raise the kinds of amounts needed to finance adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

By admin December 2, 2008 Off